Mystery illness makes woman’s hands grow to more than 20 pounds each

A woman from Thailand is living with a rare condition that has made her hands grow to nearly 21 pounds each, the Daily Mirror reported.

Duangjay Samaksamam, 59, from Surin Province is thought to have a rare form of congenital gigantism that causes pain and swelling in the limbs as they fill with fat deposits. But doctors have not been able to make a firm diagnosis.

The condition makes everyday tasks painful for Samaksamam, who spent the first 20 years of her life as a recluse because she was embarrassed about how she looked, the Mirror reported.

“My hands are so heavy I can barely lift them to comb or shampoo my hair, it’s very difficult. Getting dressed is also very difficult and painful,” said Samaksamam. “Some doctors said the only solution was to cut off my hands if I wished to walk around freely. But I don’t want to do that."

Samaksamam was eventually forced out of hiding to take over the family business and care for her elderly parents, according to the report. At age 25, she underwent a series of operations to relieve the swelling, but to date, nothing has worked, according to the Mirror.

“This case is very rare. Both her arms are enlarged. Her arms and hands are enormous so they swell badly, but it could be worse,” said Dr. Eiju Uchinuma, a plastic surgeon at Yokohama Minami Kyosai Hospital in Japan. “My diagnosis is that she is the first and only person in the world who has macrodystrophia lipomatosa from shoulders to her fingers on both arms. The cause of the disease is unknown and is therefore incurable.”

Samaksamam’s story appears on the new TLC series, “Body Bizarre,” set to air on September 25.

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